About 20 years ago, I made the worst financial mistake of my life. Along with two of my best friends, I opened a restaurant. Two of us put up the money; the third guy -- an experienced restaurant operator, but with no money to invest -- found a good location in another city and moved there to do the building and running of the place.
We lost money from the day we opened. In order to protect our original investments, we were forced to pour more money into the place; lots more. Eventually, I also moved to the city where the restaurant was to try to keep it afloat.
After years of bitter struggle, we had no more money to lose and sold the restaurant. My losses? Countless hours of labor, about $150,000, and both of my friends. Since we went our separate ways, I haven't spoken to either one.
It amazes me how little thought we sometimes invest before investing money. Financial blunders can literally change when, or even if, you retire, as well as what that retirement will look like.
Fortunately, I had sufficient time and luck to overcome this screw-up, and I was able to keep my retirement goals on track. But the point is that when it comes your financial plans, especially when it comes to retirement, the fewer mistakes you make, and the faster you correct course, the better.
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